Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Ryan Blaney ends drought, wins Coca-Cola 600

Field Level Media
30 May 2023, 11:40 GMT+10

Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney broke a 59-race winless streak with a victory in the 64th annual Coca-Cola 600 on Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

After Kyle Larson spun on Lap 375 of the 400-lap event, Blaney's No. 12 Ford started beside polesitter William Byron for the seventh time on the front row.

However, Blaney was able to pull away by over a second to earn the win for owner Roger Penske, who won the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday with driver Josef Newgarden before the Coca-Cola 600 was postponed due to rain.

Blaney became the seventh different winner in the past seven versions of NASCAR's longest race and the 10th different winner through 14 races in the 2023 campaign.

It was the eighth NASCAR Cup Series win for the 29-year-old Blaney and his second career win at CMS. His most recent victory had come in August 2021 at Daytona.

Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five in a race that featured 16 cautions.

Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman returned following a four-race absence caused by a fractured vertebra, and he finished 12th in his No. 48 Chevrolet.

Toyota drivers Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin showed they had contending cars and led in the first 100 laps, but Byron twice won the top spot off pit road after the first two caution periods and beat Bell in Stage 1 for his seventh segment win.

After a lengthy red-flag condition for rain at Lap 158, Stage 2 played out in full sun. Reddick's No. 45 Toyota held the point, and Kyle Busch's No. 8 Chevrolet spun out on Lap 175 for the sixth caution.

Hamlin, the defending 600 winner, had his day end after his No. 11 Toyota sustained hard impact before the start/finish line in a Lap 186 incident with the No. 9 Chevrolet of Chase Elliott, which also received major damage.

Chris Buescher, in the No. 17 Ford, won Stage 2 while Blaney won the following one but couldn't beat Byron off pit road again.

--Field Level Media

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